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Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

The dust settles

 50 Comments: First  |  Last

Well that was certainly a more frantic transfer deadline day than I expected and I have to say that I think I am pretty pleased with how it went on the whole.

The main reason is financial concern. I think we all know that while we are being crippled by debt and losses there is no way we were going to push forward.

Arteta was on huge wages (£75k/wk) for our club and I believe Yak was pretty well paid and being a free transfer I imagine Becks was on something decent too. We also pocketed something in the region of £15M for their sales. I will come onto the impact of their loss from the first team. Meanwhile Stracqualursi will be on relatively little from a small Argentinian club and I imagine Real Madrid are subsidising Drenthe as they clearly want rid.

So hopefully we have made a decent profit and also cut a decent chunk off the wage bill. Very good things considering our precarious finances.

As for on the field...

Arteta is a strange one. Over his time at Everton he has undoubtedly been one of the star performers; one of the few players able to unlock a defense and show some real artistry. But i think we will all admit that in the last few years we have seen that side of him less and less. If anything the last two seasons have been a case of sporadic inspiration, mostly dire dead balls, constant niggling injuries and a fair few indifferent Saturdays.

Centre mid is one place we are blesses and with the likes of Fellaini, Rodwell and Barkley i think our future there looks strong. I believe Arteta's best days (for us at least) were behind him. I hope he finds that form again at an Arsenal team which will suit his style of play but i think had he stayed with us, his gradual decline would have continued.

If Mikey was declining then the Yak had plummeted. I held little hope in seeing him burst the net for us again this season and i think getting his wages off the books and a transfer fee in the bank was a mini miracle. I wish him well and he was great player on his day but those days seemed long gone to me and i don't think he ever fully recovered (as very few players do) from his serious injury.

Beckford in a way may prove to be a bigger loss. He was our top scorer last season and undoubtedly our most mobile forward. He definitely offered something but at the same time his technique and touch saw us lose the ball too much and too many moves break down, he did score chances but he missed a fair few too, i would say allround that his game wasn't quite up to it, but maybe he will prove me wrong. I think £4m is great business for someone who may well be best suited to a top Championship or struggling Premiership team (which hopefully we won't be!).

Drenthe. I remember watching this guy a while back at LWB for Holland and thinking he was quality. He has pace, strong attacking instincts, good touch and most importantly something to prove. Heitinga will help him settle in and i think for the first time in a long while we might have a genuine winger on our hands. The only problem is that if he does well, he is on a free transfer next season so will probably move on elsewhere. But I guess thats a nice problem to have.

Stacqualursi is an unknown element but he has scored a lot of goals in a decent Argentinian league for an average team. Think someone at Doncaster being the leading scorer in the Championship. Fingers crossed he beds in quickly because we sure are light in the striking department. One idea I had is trying Bily as a striker? He's decent in the air, has a good touch and his shooting has to be the best at the club... worth a go?

All in all, we've got a smaller wage bill, some money in the bank,some younger players, some pace and width and an unknown prolific striker to be excited about. We've lost a good servant or two, but life carries on with the blue flag flying. Good luck to Mikey, Yak and Becks. And even better luck to Drenthe and Stracqualursi. Show us you deserve to be here.
Sam Hoare, London     Posted 01/09/2011 at 10:34:38

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Richard Jones
1   Posted 01/09/2011 at 13:03:15

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An extremely well balanced article, except for Billy as a striker, er not sure about that.

As you say we have seen the best of Mikey and the £10M will come in very handy at the bank.
As you say the dust has now settled, we are where we are and the players have to get on with it. I'm more optimistic today than I have been since the start of the season. Let's hope my optimism is not ill conceived
James Reade
2   Posted 01/09/2011 at 12:53:03

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I agree with a lot of what you say. Certainly all the players leaving should go with our thanks. I think that they've done more (on balance) for Everton than Everton did for their careers although I'm sure their bank balances did very well!
As a businessman and thinking logically I understand that when a business runs out of cash and cannot attract any further investment or raise any more debt, then the owners must recognise this, get the finances into shape, make the business as attractive as possible and then sell. I'm hoping that what we all lived through yesterday was step one around the financials and that more sensible steps will be taken. Provided that we then stay in the PL, we should become increasingly attractive to buyers as the P&L of the club and the relativity of income to debt should look much better to an investor.

On the other hand as an Evertonian who lived through the glorious 80s it was heartbreaking to see what's going on at the once great club we all love. So emotionally I can't join you in feeling "pretty pleased" with the way it ended up. It felt more like hacking your own nads off with a rusty butter knife.

Head versus heart, but I think it's time for the head to take over. The thing that really must happen next is a sale, quickly (realistically next summer if we beat the drop). Even if we survive but we're not sold then we should really be panicking. I for one don't relish the prospect of repeating last night like groundhog day for years to come.
BK must take a business like approach to shaping the finances and then selling the club. My greatest fear is that he just bimbles on taking our club with him into oblivion........
Martin Handley
3   Posted 01/09/2011 at 13:06:33

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I'm looking forward to watching the new boys.Big Denis(that surname is unpronounceable!) looks suited to prem big,strong quick for a big man.Mr Drenthe promised much then faded but you never know he might find his spiritual home here. Wonder who'll take on the playmakers role? Ossie perhaps..maybe not,Felli...if he does and he's good great...How about Bily? You don't need pace as a playmaker and we know he can pass a ball.
Erik Dols
4   Posted 01/09/2011 at 13:08:37

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I still think we are too light up front. Saha will miss at least half a season as usual and you can't expect an Argentine kid to step up and set the Premier League alight. He needs time to settle and I don't expect much from Stracqualursi this calendar year.
Kevin Tully
5   Posted 01/09/2011 at 13:12:36

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I think Drenthe has a fantastic opportunity to play in front of a player like Baines.

Bainsey did a hell of a lot of running to make Pienaar look good on occasions.

The link up between these two could be awsome. Leighton is one the top five left backs world football, it may be the making of young Royston.
Nick West
6   Posted 01/09/2011 at 13:10:33

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Crikey, we're all in agreement so far. I'd concur with most of the above, and would also demur on Bily upfront.

What I'd add is that I think not only did we get the best of Arteta but his presence was actually cramping Bainesy's style. Baines is our best deadball taker now but quite obviously deferred to the more senior Arteta (like the penno at Blackburn). As we all know Arteta seriously lost it with regard to freekicks.

Even though Moyesy's making grumbling noises about Arteta, I think he might be thinking he's done some good business. He held on to Jags, Baines, Howard and Fellaini and got in real quality with Drenthe. Drenthe is super quick and we all know that's precisely what we've needed for a while. Plus he's technically good. And if the Argentine lad settles in well....Moyesy could well have done the club and the team quite a few favours.

Duncan McDine
7   Posted 01/09/2011 at 13:20:43

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Have to agree with Richard (1).... you mirror my opinions exactly - all apart from Bily up front!!!!

I'd be happy to see him have a go in the Cahill role, but nowhere else... and it seems like Barkley is making a name for himself as our attacking central midfielder.

I think for now (while Saha is crocked)... I'd probably stick Timmy up front with Barkley behind.
Sam Hoare
8   Posted 01/09/2011 at 13:29:11

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No dissenters...yet!

The billy thing is a long shot but as we've got him i'm just keen to try and find somewhere that he can contribute.

We are light in attack although i still think Anichebe could yet surprise me and prove some use there...certainly not a goal machine but a better target man than Beckford could have been.

Next few weeks will be interesting. reckon we'll get to see Drenthe or Big Denis against Villa? Hope so.

Duncan McDine
9   Posted 01/09/2011 at 13:39:26

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Sam, I reckon Drenth is certainly destined for the first team, but have my doubts over Moyes handing the Argie many chances.

We are really short of quality (still) up front, but Bily is not the answer. I dread the thought of Vic leading the line for us this season.... depressing
Sam Hoare
10   Posted 01/09/2011 at 13:43:52

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Vellios must be licking his lips....hopefully all this will see him get more of a chance.
Fran Mitchell
11   Posted 01/09/2011 at 13:32:45

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Don't get how selling Beckfordis good business?

He had a good goals-to-minutes ratio, and while he had ad his flaws, 3/4 million for a 10 goal striker is poor business. How ny goals did Crouch get last season, and we went for double!

This Denis lad is completely unknown, and from the quotes by Moyes it seems he knows nothing ofhim either. Seems he was being touted across the UK and we were desperate. His goals-to-game ratio seems good (for last season), but the structure of South American football makes this much more difficult to assess. If he was so good, why is he available and no-one else after him? It is a well-know league afterall.

Drenthe I am happy with. He has pace, and seems to have this talented but a had few bad years thing that Moyes can get the best out of.

Yak, wasn't gonna play anyway so no big loss. However I'd rather have him than Anichebe up-front.

Arteta. 50/50 split. 1 half of me tell me he is our best player. I remember thinking he as good as anyone else in the league, a 25 million player. I would still be happier and more confident before the game with his name on the teamsheet. I up-turn in confidence and fitness would see him return to his best. On the other hand, I see regular injuries, a chance to play Barkley and Rodwell in the middle with Fellaini behind them. I remember Ossie last seaso and think he could do it again when Barkley needs a rest. Maybe Even Bily can do a job as a creative midfielder.

I do think 10 million is low, but that doesnt bother me, be it 10 million or 20, it makes no difference to the team I will see when I watch the game. I also think he'll do well there. Good luck Mikel, I do hate Wenger but I still like Arsenal more than Utd, City, Chelsea or the Shite and I hate Redknapp more.

Overall, the main issue is the same.

We need strikers.
Neil McCloskey
12   Posted 01/09/2011 at 13:58:31

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Drenthe is in the final year of his contract. Am I right in saying we can sign him permanently on a pre-contract in January?
Steve Edwards
13   Posted 01/09/2011 at 13:36:30

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Good well balanced article. Apart from Bily, I couldn't have put it better myself. I have had a good laugh at the Arsenal supporters being interviewed on Sky Sports News. One said, "He's been absolutely fantastic for Everton the last few seasons." Well, I'm sorry to disappoint you mate but he quite simply has not. He's now a shadow of the player he once was thanks to an injury that once ended careers but now makes very good players into journeymen.

Everton should have known better than to put him on £75 grand a week 12 months ago without knowing if he could regain his previous form. That was probably dopey Kenwright's idea.

Maybe now we will have the money to pay Fellaini what he wants to sign another contract. I've no comment on the two coming in, let's wait and see.
Fran Mitchell
14   Posted 01/09/2011 at 14:11:00

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¨Maybe now we will have the money to pay Fellaini what he wants to sign another contract¨

maybe, but I doubt it.
Ciarán McGlone
15   Posted 01/09/2011 at 14:16:41

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I have had a good laugh at the Arsenal supporters being interviewed on Sky Sports News. One said, " He's been absolutley fantastic for Everton the last few seasons ".

Funny that, I had a good laugh (or rather a sigh) at a scouser on talksport yesterday who thought we should get rid because he was 31...

Anyway, here's the disent.

We have other players who would've attracted the same value and would've had less impact on our team than Mikel. Fellaini, Jags, Cahill...

We sold our creativity for the same price as Crouch.

We will play poor football this season with little or no creativity in midfield (apart from Barkely - who now has no player with creative and technical ability to influence the development of his game).

Our board has us in a position which means we have to sell our most influential players to satisfy interest on debt...

We are in shit street.

If anybody thinks yesterday was satisfying (and that includes the causes of yesterday) then they don't give a flying fuck about this club.
Sam Hoare
16   Posted 01/09/2011 at 14:26:13

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Reasonable and balanced as usual Ciaran. Your last line in particular seems fair and just.

Do you know there was genuine concrete interest in Fella or Cahill? Did Arsenal return for Jags and did he (like Arteta) express a desire to leave?

Why have we 'sold our creativity'? He was one creative player who incidentally was third in the assist chart for us last season.

In case you didn't notice its not like we had been playing great football with him in the team. In fact his contributions of late had been fairly negligible (damaging even with the deadball)

Apart from that....fair points.
Chad Schofield
17   Posted 01/09/2011 at 13:39:53

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Good article Sam, agree with everything you wrote.
Billy in the hole/second striker yes to that too!
Andrew Dutton
18   Posted 01/09/2011 at 14:54:28

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I'm not sure if anyone else would agree, and it is just a thought, but i see a lot of similarities between Bily and Arteta. Maybe Bily could do a job in cm, in a similar role? Played out of position on the wing, good on the ball, technically gifted, ok in the air. Granted he will need to pull his socks up and contribute more in the defensive department, but we have other players for that. Might be worth a go, as he could offer us some real creativity, and his set pieces will probably be better too.
Andrew Dutton
19   Posted 01/09/2011 at 14:54:28

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I'm not sure if anyone else would agree, and it is just a thought, but i see a lot of similarities between Bily and Arteta. Maybe Bily could do a job in cm, in a similar role? Played out of position on the wing, good on the ball, technically gifted, ok in the air. Granted he will need to pull his socks up and contribute more in the defensive department, but we have other players for that. Might be worth a go, as he could offer us some real creativity, and his set pieces will probably be better too.
Ciarán McGlone
20   Posted 01/09/2011 at 15:10:00

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Fair and just? Who are you captain America?

You are actually pleased - PLEASED!!!!! with yesterday....a situation were our club has been forced to sell our most creative player, for pickings - to placate spiralling bank debt..

How in the good name of god can anybody be pleased with that situation and outcome.

As for one creative me one other creative player who's played more than 3 games? we have NONE!

Your final point is pretty pants as well...We hadn't been playing great football with him in the team? we hadn't been playing good football full stop. To suggest that as a vindication of the choice to sell is idiotic..

Apart from
Duncan McDine
21   Posted 01/09/2011 at 15:05:01

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We're up shit's creek, BK has single handedly taken us there, and used the paddles for firewood. Selling any player of value is his "Plan A" at the moment (seeing as there's no plan B). It will keep us afloat for the immeadiate future, but this time next year it'll probably be a cut price deal for Felli after he refuses to extend his contract... again, paying off the interest.

Duncan McDine
22   Posted 01/09/2011 at 15:35:10

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Ciarán - do you think anyone would be pleased to see the back of Arteta if we weren't on the brink of administration? A £10m+ sale had to happen, I'm just happy it wasn't Bainsey - who incidently is BY FAR the most creative player in our current shower of a team.
Sam Hoare
23   Posted 01/09/2011 at 15:33:25

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Ciaran, I hope you don't have to be a superhero to be fan of reason and fairness. If so a sad indictment on our times.

As for yesterday...we knew the situation...we have known the situation for a long time. We didn't need yesterday to tell us that the club is in some trouble. I don't think anyone is pleased with the general state of things.

BUT given that we have known (and moaned copiously) about the situation for some time then i think, yes, yesterday was actually not too bad. To suggest that to think so means i don't give a fuck about the club is childish and churlish in my opinion.

As for creative players, Baines, Coleman and Osman all got more assists than Arteta last season. Billy has it in him as clearly does Barkley. Plus Drenthe should be exciting. Cheer up...
Peter Laing
24   Posted 01/09/2011 at 15:35:49

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Interesting how Arteta was omitted from the list of untouchables by Bill Kenwright, he made reference to him being personally hung, drawn and quartered for not selling him last season, and lo and behold - Mikel departs in the final hour of the transfer window and Barclay's get their pound of flesh. But hey we stay afloat financially, or do we should we enter a relegation dog-fight.
Marcus Choo
25   Posted 01/09/2011 at 15:36:56

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?Centre mid is one place we are blesses and with the likes of Fellaini, Rodwell and Barkley I think our future there looks strong?


I'd say we have the numbers, but none of them are close to Arteta's guile and ability to unlock stubborn defences or to dictate play. I think we're actually weaker in center midfield with Arteta gone. Don't forget Moyes is more than likely to plonk either of Heitinga or Neville in center midfield to partner Fellaini ? I expect less than 10% of our assists to come down the middle this season...
Ciarán McGlone
26   Posted 01/09/2011 at 15:48:19

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Actually Sam,

My contention was that if someone is happy with yesterday, then by extension they are happy about the financial situation that created yesterdays circumstances. I made that quite clear above.

If you want to distinguish between the financial situtation and what happened yesterday, then that's your prerogative...I find that ability to diassociate rather impossible.....whether we were forewarned is irrelevant.

As for calling my opinion of those who found yesterday 'Pleasing' - 'childish and churlish' - this would appear to lack the fairness and balance you so crave...tut, tut.

As for your assessment of our players...Barkley is a child, billy will be eternally played out of position, if at all - and Baines is a full abck who's influence is limited to one side of the Park - yes, he's creative, but not on the game as a whole..And the number of assists is hardly the be-all and end-all of a measure of creativity.
Ciarán McGlone
27   Posted 01/09/2011 at 15:59:11

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"Ciarán - do you think anyone would be pleased to see the back of Arteta if we weren't on the brink of administration? A £10m+ sale had to happen, I'm just happy it wasn't Bainsey - who incidently is BY FAR the most creative player in our current shower of a team"

Actually, Duncan I do.

There appears to be a section of our fans who don't understand the nature of a cruciate injury...A lot of people who think he is past it on the basis of last year.

They are in for an unpleasant surprise.

I understand the need to placate the banks, but i'm gutted we've been put in this situation. I also think we've used the wrong player to do it.
Sam Hoare
28   Posted 01/09/2011 at 16:15:31

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Ciaran i don't think calling insulting generalisations childish and churlish is unfair or unbalanced. Do you?

I already know your answer as i don't recall you ever admitting to a single fault in any of your many arguments on these boards.

As for your assertion that yesterday was bad as an extension of the situation then i don't disagree; but I was the one who made the OP and i think I made it quite clear that it was a good day given the circumstances....

Paul Thompson
29   Posted 01/09/2011 at 16:07:59

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Ciarán - I don;t think there is an Evertonian in the world who is 'happy about the financial situation'. So, by your logic, we can only be unhappy about any outcome yesterday. That makes any discussion pointless, or the opportunity for poinltess insults.

We have to separate the business and playing implications. For the reasons outlined in this thread and elsewhere, it's reasonable to conclude that on the whole good business was done.

The playing side is much more mixed. We;ve now got a left-sided winger with pace and a striker who can score goals. But the club has taken a huge gamble. We've let two strikers go, so if the new one doesn't settle quickly we've got problems given Saha's injury record. Drenthe is less of a gamble. If his well known attitude issue re-appear, he's a lonaee so can be shipped out. Whether the existing midfielders can fill the Arteta creativity gap - well we'll just have to wait and see. The biggest gamble is a wider one - the transfer window has seen the size of the squad cut down to bare bones. We have got little room for manouevre if we hit injuries or poor form. It's obvious why it's been done, but deeply worrying nevertheless.
Andy Parsons
30   Posted 01/09/2011 at 16:41:21

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I stopped reading after the first sentence. For me, it just wasn't a "pretty pleased" day. For me it was a "why do I continue to show faith in the club and line the pocket of Bill Kenwright" type of day.

Our leading scorer from last season has gone and we already had a problem scoring goals and needed a striker. Instead we've loaned somebody who is completely untried and untested in the Premiership and I emphasise - LOANED. So even if they turn out to be half decent, they'll go straight back to the club we got him from. Why? Because even if we wanted to, we can't buy anyone.

But Arteta truly kills it for me. Our success, very against the odds, a few years back when we were challenging for Europe was built very much on the team spirit in the camp and this is the first piece of the heart and soul to be ripped out of the club. Arteta might not have been as good as he was a few years back but he was still our best - and I might not even complain so much had he been replaced by somebody of better or even equal talent - but it goes without saying that he hasn't been.

All of this to pay off the debts that Kenwright has dumped on the club because he can't afford to invest in the team himself.

Wake up... we've gone from a team challenging for the top 4 to a team that was challenging for UEFA spots to a team that... I don't even know what ambition we have this year. I don't have any expectations at all.

If we're struggling to score goals and panicking around Christmas time because we're in a hole we can't get out of, maybe then the penny will drop.
Ciarán McGlone
31   Posted 01/09/2011 at 16:57:46

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"Ciaran i don't think calling insulting generalisations childish and churlish is unfair or unbalanced. Do you?"

By the application of your logic of course it is - it dismisses my opinion in favour of yours. But then again, why do opinions have to be balanced? That's, quite frankly, a nonsense.

Paul Thompson,

Why do we have to seperate football from finance? and more to the point, HOW do we make that separation? That would appear to be a course that gives succour to the current position..
Paul Thompson
32   Posted 01/09/2011 at 17:23:16

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Football and finance are clearly not separate. My point is simply that given the financial position we are in - skint - transfer window outcomes can be better or worse in both business and playing terms. That is surely unarguable.
Craig Walker
33   Posted 01/09/2011 at 17:46:13

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I think Rodwell can fill Arteta's boots nicely in terms of passing sideways and backwards.

I predict that the team which had Pienaar and Donovan will be the last time we had a decent attacking team for quite some time.
Christopher Banasko
34   Posted 01/09/2011 at 17:56:36

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Nice article. Have to agree with pretty much all of it.

Unlike most on here I would love to see bily playing just behind the striker...why? Because that's his position. HE IS NOT A WINGER!!!

I can't think of another player in our team who could of scored the screamers that he has and I don't think that is any consolation that these goals were scored from a central postion!
Nick Wall
35   Posted 01/09/2011 at 18:52:51

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I broadly agree with Sam, but I'd like to make three caveats.

1. Selling Arteta just happened - it hadn't been planned for. Those who accuse Moyes of being in Kenwright's pocket have it all wrong - if anything it's the other way round. We have a compliant board and chairman who haven't challenged Moyes's policy in recent years of holding on to key players, despite the worsening financial situation, and despite past experience which shows that selling prime assets like Rooney and Lescott need not be the end of the world. So, Everton set an asking price for Jagielka and Arteta which they were confident that Arsenal wouldn't meet - and Arteta wouldn't have been sold if he hadn't forced the issue. Bear in mind that the headline price is only one part of the equation. Everton were paying Arteta £4m a year in wages, Yobo and Yakubu in the region of £3m. Why was the club prepared to risk keeping an unwilling Yobo or Yakubu on the wage bill by haggling over transfer fees ? So yes, we've got a financial windfall - but this was no firesale by the club, it wasn't part of any cunning scheme.

2. There is no guarantee how this is going to affect the club's spending in the future. It would be nice to think that now our debt levels are more sustainable, that we can operate normally in future, and even if there isn't a great deal of net spending Moyes will be able to buy players within his budget when he wants to. Some cynics are saying that the bankers are the only people who'll see this money, I don't subscribe to that view, I do think though the financial position will remain complex and that Moyes won't have an easy time of it in the future.

3. Some people are talking of Arteta almost as though he's a has-been, as though his leaving won't hurt us at all. Don't be daft, of course it will hurt us. He's a class act, and the rest of the squad know he's a class act, and they look up to him. I think we should be excited about our two loan signings, but let's remember there are reasons why they've become available on loan, and not burden them with too much expectation too soon. Our centre midfield still looks very useful but it could be a few weeks before they've all absorbed the shock of yesterday and the team's become settled and performing its best as a unit.
Joe McMahon
36   Posted 01/09/2011 at 19:46:27

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Billy up front!! This is why Moyes should never be given Money, 10 million wasted on Billy and a staggering 10 million loss on Yakubu!
Cathal Naughton
37   Posted 01/09/2011 at 20:14:17

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well you could look at it this way.
Use the money to pay off the overdraft, hopefully most of it now.

The loss made on Yakubu can be offset against the profit made from Arteta and Beck's. 9 mill lost as opposed to 11 gained.
Nothing is guarenteed in football. Drenthe is a case in point. RM paid 13 odd million for him and now he on a free pretty much. As for Yakubu had he not played in that game against spurs when he did in his achilles tendon. Would he be a different player now and would Moyes have been so desperate to get him off the wage bill.
Putting a value on a player is momentary, It was the first serious injury of Yakubu's career and to all intensive purposes he dealt with it in a way to prolong his career. The darting runs disappeared from his game. A footballers career is short and if he chose self preservation as opposed to busting a gut for 90 minutes I do not blame him.
Sorry I may have gone slightly off point here but as far as I am concerned Arteta and Yakubu's games changed after their injuries.
Steve Simpson
38   Posted 01/09/2011 at 20:03:13

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For me the window ended better than expected. I feared the loss of Bains, Jags or Rodwell. I think the moves with do both Arteta and The Yak the power of good and refresh them as players. Both have been good and loyal players for us but have become jaded. I am not certain about Beckford, I think that for so long he has been "one for the future" and big things predicted then he is gone. The newbies are to a certain extent a gamble but it is nice to have new interest and potential in the team. Some debts paid off into the bargin so for me a good window.
colin povall
39   Posted 01/09/2011 at 21:57:30

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good article Sam. Don't feel like toping myself for the first time in the last 24 hrs. nice one
Max Fine
40   Posted 01/09/2011 at 21:58:11

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Well put Sam - about time someone posted an antidote to the increasingly maudlin negative articles floating about at the minute. I too was a bit baffled as to Beckfords transfer for the reason you also mention, but i guess at 28 Moyes has judged that he isn't what we need and doesn't have youth on his side with time to adapt. Maybe we are witnessing the beginning of a more ruthless less dithery dave? As for Arteta, an off-form Arteta is better than no Arteta at all and I am sorry to see him leave. However, for a number of reasons I?m personally not bitter at the board, Moyes or the player himself:

Number 1: Arsenal bid £10 million for an injury-prone player whose £75k a week wages were crippling a debt-ridden club. We actually rejected this bid in an attempt to keep hold of the player, as we did the derisory £5million they'd supposedly offered the day before.
Number 2: When Arteta heard of the Arsenal bid, he personally told Moyes he wanted to have a bash at playing in the nation?s capital, and in the champions league. He handed in a written transfer request thereby waiving any compensation he'd be due from EFC, took a reduction in wages and gave Everton a final interview expressing his gratitude to the club, the fans and explaining the reasons for his departure.
The nature of the transfer was completely dignified, and done within a couple of days. Though Arsenal are a set of tight fisted minge-bags (I think we all would have expected and preferred £12-15 million), they appear to be completely innocent of the usual tapping-up/unsettling the player nonsense that more often than not drags out over several weeks and has become the norm for high-profile transfers. I have nothing but respect for the player and his motivations; take heed Lescott and Rooney.
The only thing we can criticise the board for in this instance is their inability to be able to offer champions league football this season (something 16 other boards are also guilty of) and/or not being able to say "but we do have a spare £135 million to spend on players so we might have good old crack at it next year..." We could argue about the reasons behind the lack of a take-over ad-nauseum, but that?s for another day. We didn?t build on King?s Dock, we ran up too much debt in the Walter Smith era, we didn?t invest in the team in ?05 and we aren?t an attractive prospect for investors.
Number 3: As far as we know, Arteta has never pushed for a move through the usual method of whoring the media or using his sleazy agents. This despite speculation over a transfer to Spain nearly every single transfer window. He has given over six years to Everton when he could undoubtedly have pushed for a move to a club with a more recent record of success. Of course you could say he has been royally rewarded already for his loyalty with a bumper contract, but we are kidding ourselves if we think he couldn't have got that kind of money elsewhere had he let it run down and left on a free.
Also, the manner in which he has conducted himself over these past 6 years has been several classes above some of his fellow "professionals". Surely that can't be disputed? Everything he has ever said about Everton has been positive (even though we have had some awful, awful seasons). We haven't heard his agent or dad spout bollocks about how many great clubs are after him, and all things considered this has deservedly earned him the respect of the board and the manager in return. So what could the board and the manager do? They had a written transfer request and a player (who has arguably given EFC the best years of his career) begging to be able to prove himself against top European opposition. It is seemingly too easy to forget that Arteta is a person as well as a commodity.
Number 4: Bit subjective this one, but Arteta is the most technically gifted player that I have ever seen in an Everton shirt throughout my 15 years or so of being a fan. Not as exciting or explosive as Rooney, but an absolute wizard with the ball at his feet - Pienaar was never fit to wipe the sh*t of his boots. However, injuries had taken their toll and while he has shown odd flashes of brilliance over the last 18 months, every time he looks likely to start hitting some form he gets injured again. I am absolutely gutted he's gone, but thinking head before heart and at £75k a week we simply can't afford to hope he may start to become as influential as he once was.
Arsenal play a style of football far more suited to Arteta. Whether he can find some form and help to fill the void left by Fabregas remains to be seen, but they play through the midfield and on the floor so he'll never have a better chance to prove himself. I genuinely wish him well and thank him for some of the best Everton related memories he has given me.

Number 5: Our own style has rightly received criticism of late and it is clear to all that we have been in dire need of freshening up the team. With Arteta off the books, we have been able to sign a once £14 million player who potentially has the two attributes we have been desperate for: pace and width. We also have an abundance of players ready to fill the central midfield role and it is clear that Moyes would never have dropped Arteta (no matter how bad his form) to make room for them. While none are yet reminiscent of the Arteta of 06-09, I'm fairly optimistic that at least one of them has the potential to have a similar impact and as big an influence on the team as Arteta once had. Barkley is the most obvious candidate at the moment, but it's still very early days for him. We might even see the Bily that convinced Moyes to pay £10million for; given some much needed confidence and a run of games who knows?!

It is not unreasonable to suggest that we might find players who gel together better as a team as a result of the transfer. Our neighbours across the park are beginning to look better for having a more balanced team of average players than they did with more world class stars like Torres and Meireles. Hopefully with our backs to the wall, a few fresh faces and a different outlook we too can begin our own quiet revolution. So lets see how things pan out over the next few games before we write the team off and reach for the pitch-forks.
Max Fine
41   Posted 01/09/2011 at 22:08:05

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Christ - went on a bit there and forget to hit the return key. Sorry about that! Summary: I agree
Chris Jones
42   Posted 01/09/2011 at 22:55:52

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On the subject of yesterday - has anyone heard whether there was any truth in the Onuoha rumour?
Steve Smith
43   Posted 02/09/2011 at 00:30:33

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Selling our Spanish superstar was a great bit of business in my opinion, we've had his best years, he's been brill for us but he has looked stale and lacking that sparkle for the last 18 months at least, he needed a new challenge, I love the lad and wish him all the best at Arsenal, and I genuinely hope he goes out and wows everyone in the CL....I'll be watching with interest during the next few months, and also can't wait for Arsenal at Goodison this season to say goodbye in the proper manner.
Andy Crooks
44   Posted 02/09/2011 at 00:42:54

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Max, I just wish you'd see Duncan Mckenzie. He made Arteta look like Phil Neville.
Brendan O'Doherty
45   Posted 02/09/2011 at 03:35:42

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"Selling Arteta was a great piece of business".

FFS, Arteta was sold because he was the only player anyone made a substantial bid for on deadline day, the money for which could go directly to the bank because it couldn't be spent. Open your eyes, some people.

Ben Howard
46   Posted 02/09/2011 at 09:32:27

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Song for the terraces:

"We signed a massive Tevez, we signed a massive Tevez, La La La La Oi, La La La La Oi! His name is fu©*ing Denis, His name is fu©*ing Denis, La La La La Oi, La La La La Oi!"
Howard Don
47   Posted 02/09/2011 at 09:29:27

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Love the positivity of your article Sam but Billy decent in the air, are we watching the same guy?? He might be worth a punt though, as some have said, in his more natural centre mid position in the Cahill role just behind a main striker.
Gary Mortimer
48   Posted 02/09/2011 at 10:15:53

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Some good arguments here trying to put some positive spin on a sad day.

Mikel was one of the best players I've seen in a blue shirt . . . however since his injury I was getting more and more frustrated with his (IMO obvious and perhaps understandable) fear of further injury - he didn't go into tackles like he used to and looked to play and easy ball when under pressure rather than ride a tackle.

Some people are trying to blame the board for the sale . . . but at teatime on Wednesday all media sources were reporting that the deal was dead in the water as Everton had rejected the £10m bid. It was only when Arteta put in a transfer request that the deal was back on. Sadly we cannot blame BK for this one - this is all down to the player wanting to go. Don't forget that BK is not a hard nosed business man - hence the financial mess we are in. BUT he also had plenty of opportunity to offload Jags and Baines this summer.
Gavin Ramejkis
49   Posted 02/09/2011 at 11:00:54

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Andy #44 one of my boyhood heroes, my eldests middle name is McKenzie, he's only six and will never get it as my mrs didnt but means a lot to me.

Ben, here's a chant "No dough, no dough, no dough, Everton is the team with no dough....and its no longer funny that we've got no money and its all down to Kenshite we know"
James Flynn
50   Posted 02/09/2011 at 23:01:11

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We had Miky's best years and there were some good ones for sure. And, a good fellow. But he's past it as all footballers are at some point. Still find boggling we got 10 mil for him. What Arteta video was Wenger watching?

A question just as a soccer fan and nothing else. Does anyone here think Arsenal just solved some problem by signing Arteta? I don't get it. He's clearly out of his prime.

At this point, the only place he can make a nice buck and (maybe) shine is over here in MLS.

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